Cover Image

Original Research

An introduction to the theological politico-ethical thinking of Koos Vorster

Jan H. van Wyk, Nico Vorster
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 46, No 1 | a76 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v46i1.76 | © 2012 Jan H. van Wyk, Nico Vorster | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 July 2012 | Published: 22 October 2012

About the author(s)

Jan H. van Wyk, School for Ecclesiastical Sciences, Northwest University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Nico Vorster, School for Ecclesiastical Sciences, Northwest University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


Share this article

Bookmark and Share

Abstract

Koos Vorster had a productive career as theologian and published on a wide variety of subjects. However, he will especially be remembered for his contribution to political and social ethics. This article discussed his theological politico-ethical thinking. Firstly, this article examined his epistemology, with special reference to his revelational-historical approach, his hermeneutics, preference of deontological ethics and his renouncement of ethical absolutism, which characterises fundamentalist approaches to ethics. Secondly, it examined his views on Apartheid and the ‘struggle’ in the 1970s and 1980s. Vorster renounced Apartheid and pleaded for non-violent change brought about by an evangelical change of hearts and attitude that had to be accompanied with real efforts to address poverty and unjust structures. Finally, the article discussed his views on human dignity, human rights and relations between the state and religion, as well as his views on society and economics.

‘n Inleiding tot die teologiese, politieke en etiese denke van Koos Vorster. Koos Vorster het ‘n besonderse produktiewe en vrugbare akademiese loopbaan gehad en oor ‘n verskeidenheid van onderwerpe gepubliseer. Hy sal egter veral onthou word vir sy bydrae tot politieke en sosiale etiek. Hierdie artikel ondersoek die teologies-polities etiese denke van Koos Vorster. Die  eerste  deel  bespreek  sy  epistemologiese  uitgangspunte,  waaronder  sy  omvattende openbarings-historiese benadering, sy hermeneutiek, voorliefde vir ‘n deontologiese etiek, en sy afwysing van etiese absolutisme soos veral vergestalt in fundamentalistiese benaderings tot die etiek. Die tweede deel bespreek sy houding teenoor Apartheid en die ‘struggle’ in die 1970s en 1980s. Vorster het die vergrype van Apartheid geïdentifiseer en aangespreek, maar terselfdertyd geweldadige verset verwerp, en ‘n evangeliese verandering van gesindhede bepleit wat gepaard gaan met die opheffing van onderdrukte gemeenskappe en ontbinding van onregverdige strukture. Die laaste deel van die artikel bespreek Vorster se sienings oor menswaardigheid, menseregte, die verhouding tussen kerk en godsdiens, asook sy siening oor die samelewing en die ekonomie.

Keywords

Apartheid; human dignity; human rights; struggle; Vorster

Metrics

Total abstract views: 2596
Total article views: 7225


Crossref Citations

No related citations found.